Analog Distortion Question..

Discussion in 'Production' started by thedjnifty, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    46
    Ez people, so I'm looking at getting into the analog world and obviously first things first is the synth, not completely sure what I'm gonna get yet but that's not the point I'm trying to make in this case...

    What I'd like to know is if I get let's say a Moog Sub Phatty, which will give me full analog waves to play with, in order to get some really nasty DJ Hazard style bass distortion going, will it be enough to just run the nice juicy analog waves through digital VST plugins like Izotope Trash and still get that level of gritty distortion simply due to the quality of the waves going into the plugin? Or will I instead have to go and invest in some analog distortion hardware to really be able to drive the sound and get that level of distortion I'm after?

    I'm talking something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xByWQO-qfkc&t=1m30s

    I'm guessing it's more a case of the latter, which if true is cool, but I can't really find much information on decent analog distortion hardware? The thing that seems to get mentioned a lot is the Sherman Filterbank 2, but there must be other decent alternatives out there to try?

    I also know you can run things through guitar pedals for distortion but I imagine most of these wouldn't sound that amazing and would be pretty limited in terms of the variety of sound colouring each would offer? Maybe I'm wrong?

    Lastly, from MY brief experience I've found that the in-built distortion on a lot of synths isn't quite as rough as what I'm looking for and doesn't really colour the sound enough for me, which is why I'm looking externally, but has anyone come across any synths that you can get some serious serious grit out of without needing much else on the end? I've actually heard the Virus' are pretty good for this, but I'm kind of leaning away from them at the moment as everyone seems to have one and I'd like to go for something with a bit more of a unique sound if possible!

    Anyways any help or advice anyone can give on the above would be wicked, big ups!
     
  2. mugatu

    mugatu Verva Music

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    East sussex
    If your thinking of spending a fair bit of money, the virus is so versatile, i love mine, its sick for house, dnb, everything. Id get a snow for the price. The distortion on mine, the C, can get some okay results, but its nothing close to hazard, but i haven't discovered the full potential of yet, i bet it can get that jump up sound your looking for. Rare undiscovered layers.
     
  3. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Washington DC
    When it comes to getting that analog warmth you're looking for, personally I would try to achieve said "warmth" as much as possible outside of the digital realm. You can definitely use that Sub Phatty as a great starting point for developing the thickness, but I would take it a step further and run the output from that beast into a high quality guitar (bass) distortion/overdrive pedal–preferably one with a built in tube like this. This way, you've taken the analog output from your Sub Phatty and driven the shit out of it through another analog source (the pedal), creating a very heavy result. Once you've gotten a solid foundation, then I would bring it into a DAW and apply the extra processing your looking for. I've found that when applying FX "in the box" to a sound that was developed from an analog source, you can really go crazy with the post processing settings while still maintaining that analog thickness.

    And to backup the previous poster, Virus' are quite good for developing gritty sounds. Although not analog, the DSP engine and hi-quality outputs (via 1/4", don't waste your time with the USB audio) can be extremely convincing. Some of the included wavetables are exceptionally wicked.

    I would encourage you to also check out Bass Station 2. I picked one up recently and have been very impressed thus far, it's no sub phatty, but I'm a fan of the stability of the DCO's and the overdrive (pre filter) and distortion (post filter) components deliver some serious filth.
     
  4. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    46
    Yeah this is the thing, I've heard nothing but good things about the Virus' but I don't really wanna have the exact same thing that everyone else has, I know it's about how you use it yourself but it would be nice to have something different that could still stand up to the competition, just something different purely in terms of the raw sound

    - - - Updated - - -

    Cheers for the advice mate, so is it often the case that guitar pedals will still be used for that analog distortion? I know guys like Trace and the No-U-Turn crew used them a lot back in the day, but is there nothing a bit more "featured" nowdays? Something similar to the Sherman Filterbank, but something else? It's not that one wouldn't do the trick for me, I just imagine there must be alternatives to check out and compare? Big ups
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  5. alz

    alz compress to impress

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,535
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Oxford
    distortion units get quite expensive, mutronics mutator, thermonic culture vulture, Overstayer, sherman filterbank 2, niio iotine analog are all really good distortion units. I REALLY want a culture vulture, but they're fucking expensive.

    You can use guitar pedals, you'll need a DI box. The Moog moogerfooger pedals are badass, expensive, but come up on ebay a lot.

    a tube preamp is also an option, overdriving the tubes gives a nice distortion.

    virus' are a really good bet, because they work really well and sound amazing.
    dave smith tetra is a fully analogue option, people complain they are quite hard to use but they definitely sound amazing. And you can get one second hand for like 350 quid if you're lucky, also the mopho x4 is another option, they look damn sexy.
    If you really want a mono then the sub phatty is a good bet, also the sh 101, which is amazing too, I think spectrasoul use one a lot.
     
  6. tewky1

    tewky1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    288
    How about going through a nice amplifier? There are some pretty cool low wattage amps(that wont alienate everyone in a 5 mile radius) that when recorded sound phat! Anything guitar related is getting you some valve saturation/distortion. Often your only going to get specialised pedals that do one sound very well. Tubescreamer eg is giving a good mid overdrive. Most of your plugins are algorithms built to emulate classic equipment. The hardware still has that extra mojo that digital is getting close to capturing, but still not quite there. There is a reason Guitar bands world over use Equipment from WW2, because t sounds better!!
    You could look at some sort of multi effects pedal, pretty sure there are models out there with actual tube valves in them.
    If you are looking at recording a live sound, think about your drivers and also mic choices, all these things can create various levels of distortion in your chain. When researching Guitar Amps I was blown away at the difference different speakers/cabinets can actually make sonically!
     
  7. D-Jhepz

    D-Jhepz ◕‿◕

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)
    im goin to get bass station 2 for myself this xmas... also thinking about getting a peddleboard too, however some mentioned a di box? would a good soundcard not sufice?

    im a completely noob in the analog realm of things :(
     
  8. Substrate

    Substrate New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    NorthWales UK
  9. Hertz Promo

    Hertz Promo Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Any analogue mixing desk is great for getting the kind of distortion your after just from red lighting the channel gains and cranking the eqs

    you can play any sound through it then redlight it to hell then re record it back into the computer

    also try twisting out the eqs when your recording it to get some mad fx

    you can also run guitar pedals on the channel inserts and run them at the same time for extra nastyness - ive been picking up all kinds of wicked old skool 1980s distortion pedals on ebay recently

    Mackie desks were pretty much standard in dnb back in the day also vintage soundtracs desks are amazing for nice warm distortion
     
    thedjnifty likes this.
  10. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    6,264
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    BH1
    My old man has a small Mackie desk but it's in storage atm, will DEFFO get this badboy in the studio!

    Could you not do this through say an A&H too?
     
  11. Hertz Promo

    Hertz Promo Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    67
    Yeah any mixing desk will do - could even use a shitty old dj mixer if you wanted

    tbh the weirder the better as every mixer has different circuitry (sp) so will give a different sound when you distort it - some will sound shit and some will sound good
     
    lostnthesound and RUSSLA like this.
  12. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    46
    Nice one mate will do a bit of research on the above, I know that good sound won't come cheap so I'm up for saving some pennies to get the best out there!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've used all of those you mentioned above mate, Guitar Rig I find isn't bad but still sounds pretty digitally when you drive most of the distortion units, the cabinets don't sound bad though to be fair but it's the drive I'm really after... and Camel Phat is a cool plugin but I find the tube distortion (although decent) pretty generic sounding, and the mech distortion always seems way too much to really be that usable

    Love the PSP though for the most part!
     
  13. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Glad to help. I'm not sure if it's often a case that producers make use of pedals, but I've always liked using them because I played guitar for many years and happen to have quite a few laying around the house. I typically go from my synth to the box to my Duet 2 and record the results. The "downside" of pedals is any type of modulation you want will have to be done hand since pedals lack MIDI...I don't think the MOOG pedals have MIDI, but they're certainly bad ass (and take CV). I would say perhaps those MOOG pedals would be considered somewhat featured because they're just so amazing given that they have that MOOG flavor. I've only been able to demo the LP Filter and the Delay (which is sexy as hell), but I'd like to have one sometime in the future for shits and grins. For around $299, it's not too expensive (but certainly not cheap).

    And what others have said about tube amps is true is true as well...basically anything with tubes is a plus. If I had the endless funds I would dive into a 5150 amp head...but I digress.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So long as the sound card/audio interface has the option to adjust the input for different levels (mic level, line level, instrument level, etc.) you should be fine.
     
    thedjnifty likes this.
  14. Optimal Prime

    Optimal Prime Specialising in the arts and crafts of Drum & Bass

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
  15. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    46
    For pure value for money I've gota try this some time!
     
  16. Optimal Prime

    Optimal Prime Specialising in the arts and crafts of Drum & Bass

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    I was impressed by the results the guy gets in his videos on that page. It requires obtaining one of those car line input cassette tapes that are used to convert a tape player into line in for CD's. Not as common as they once were ten years ago like and beyond but I'm gonna try this myself soon. I have a dual tape player machine sitting at my mums house that she wants removed asap really. The interesting thing is that the sound you get comes from overloading the tape player heads, and so different machines may well produce different results.
     
  17. alz

    alz compress to impress

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,535
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Oxford
    Chandler distortion pedals used with a moog

    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Also moog is releasing smaller, more affordable pedals now, one of which is a drive one AND it has a filter, definitely pretty badass for 140 quid

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
    lostnthesound and thedjnifty like this.
  18. alz

    alz compress to impress

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,535
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Oxford
    This looks very cool and a decent size too.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.thomann.de/gb/mode_machines_mw_01_wasp_b_stock.htm

    Also looks very cool, they do versions that are like 2-2.5 grand, those would be interesting to try!
    [​IMG]
    http://shop.studioxchange.co.uk/Looptrotter_SA2RATE_p/looptrotter-sa2rate.htm

    If I had enough cash I'd seriously consider this though, it looks like you get a lot of control over what you want to do.
    [​IMG]
    http://shop.studioxchange.co.uk/Evol_Audio_Fucifier_p/evol-fucifier.htm

    I've also found out that I can add distortion with my slim phatty, I always knew I could route a signal back in to it but since I haven't tried before I never thought of using the overdrive that it has, also peaking the signal will give more distortion to it too. Do you do this with yours Serum? Here's a vid of a guy doing it, sounds awesome! Starts at 8:42.

    [video=youtube_share;3ZgJ-bYn9PE]http://youtu.be/3ZgJ-bYn9PE?t=8m42s[/video]
     
  19. Serum

    Serum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,090
    Likes Received:
    145
    Location:
    London
    You can get distortion out of all sorts of gear.

    Desk channels are great for it, any sort of guitar distortion pedal will get you some nice filth too. I've heard the old TL Audio Ivory gear can give some nice grime as well.

    The Culture Vulture is incredible for distortion but you can still get good results without spending that sort of cash. Look out for a second hand one though, they're well worth having.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've also found out that I can add distortion with my slim phatty, I always knew I could route a signal back in to it but since I haven't tried before I never thought of using the overdrive that it has, also peaking the signal will give more distortion to it too. Do you do this with yours Serum? Here's a vid of a guy doing it, sounds awesome! Starts at 8:42.

    [video=youtube_share;3ZgJ-bYn9PE]http://youtu.be/3ZgJ-bYn9PE?t=8m42s[/video][/QUOTE]

    I've wired it up to do that but not tested it yet. It's on the to do list.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014